Skyrim logo with a Steam deck showing the game and two iPods being used as controllers.
Screenshot via Destructoid / Skyrim logo via Bethesda.

Here’s Skyrim on a Steam Deck, controlled by iPods

Scroll click wheel to shout like Bono [citation needed]

When the end of the world comes (and it will), I like to imagine that in the midst of all the rubble and chaos, people will still be playing Skyrim. There doesn’t seem to be any way that people won’t tinker with the game and in this instance, we get to see dead technology being revived in order to play TES5.

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As spotted by PCGamesN, Reddit user nekomichi recently showed that it’s possible to run the game in a Steam Deck (so far so normal) using old iPods as controllers. The clip attached to the post shows it working as you would imagine.

Movement itself requires scrolling the click wheel of the one on the right, while the left iPod is being used for turning. While walking forward and fighting seem to work pretty well, turning left and right is a bit of a janky affair.

Not intended for speedruns

This idea is actually based on something nekomichi did in November 2022. A video on YouTube shows them setting up some iPods to control Skyrim via PC. Basically, it involves the installation of RockBox, an open source piece of firmware which allows the iPods to be used as devices over a USB.

Once installed, it becomes a case of assigning each button and wheel to an action in-game. The method used in the video is almost certainly the same that’s used in the Steam Deck version (what is a Steam Deck if not a portable PC, after all).

They’ve also tested this on Sleeping Dogs, also running on the Deck. However, they say it works much better with Skyrim. There’s no reason why you can’t try this yourself if you happen to have some old iPods flying around. But don’t expect to be speedrunning through the game.


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Author
Andrew Heaton
Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.